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Burnley sex abuse campaigner praised by victim
AN ALLEGED victim of sex abuse has praised a Burnley man spearheading his campaign for justice as ‘a people’s champion’.
Graham Holden, from Rosehill, led more than a dozen protesters at council offices in Nottingham as they called for a public inquiry into the allegations.
His friend, Michael Summers, 59, claims he was raped and physically abused at a care home and a school in the city in the 1960s.
Nottingham City Council and Nottingham County Council have both said they cannot find files relating to Mr Summer’s time at Beechwood Community House, Mapperley, where he claims he reported the abuse of other children.
Mr Holden, 58, of Rosewood Avenue, said he was ‘shocked’ when his friend confided in him earlier this year.
He said: “He told other friends years ago and they didn’t take it seriously.
“We want a full, independent, public inquiry and an apology but the councils are saying they can’t do that while the police are investigating.
“Mickey has to live with this every day.”
Nottinghamshire police have launched an investigation, Operation Daybreak, into abuse at care homes.
Uppal Taylor Solicitors, a specialist child abuse compensation firm, said it had given advice to at least 75 former Beechwood residents.
Mr Summers, who moved to New York five years ago, has waived his legal right to anonymity as an alleged victim of sexual abuse.
He claims that the incidents took place in 1966 and 1967, when he was 12.
He said: “They are blatantly trying to cover it up.
“They’ve silenced so many people but they won’t silence me.
“Graham is a people’s champion and deserves great praise for taking on the authorities over this.”
The protest, at Nottingham City Council’s Loxley House building on Tuesday, saw Mr Holden, an engineer, hold placards that read: ‘Justice for Michael’ and: ‘Silence is not justice’.
In a joint statement, the two Nottingham councils said: “Both the city and county councils are taking the issues being raised by Mr Summers very seriously.
“And are devoting a great deal of time and effort in addressing them.”
Under current regulations, records must be kept for 100 years, but this was not the case when Mr Summers was in care.
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